Book your Greece holidays – we'll be on June green list, says country's tourism minister despite rising Covid cases
BRITS have been told to book holidays to Greece for June by the country’s tourism minister, who claims that they will be on the UK’s next travel ‘green list.’
Harry Theoharis made the claims this morning, just a few days after his country failed to make the first travel green list – and despite Covid cases currently rising in Greece.
He told BBC Breakfast: “For sunshine, book your holiday to Greece. We are confident that if they study the data properly, Greece will be in the next round of green list [countries] from June 7.”
The prediction comes after just Gibraltar and Portugal were given quarantine-free status out of all popular European summer holiday destinations.
Minas Hatzimichail, president of Hoteliers’ Association on the island of Kos, told local media that holiday booking cancellations in Greece were "pouring in" following the announcement.
Mr Theoharis said: “This decision was very disappointing. But we're engaging with the Government to discuss the various parameters that went into this decision.
“We have been safe and we are continuing in the same vein. Perhaps many of our islands are on the same page as Portugal.”
The country has sped up its vaccination drive in recent weeks, with aims to jab all islands fully by the end of next month.
He added: “A third of islands are fully vaccinated.
“Certainly, we are pushing and aiming that anyone that comes will be living or passing their time in an environment that is perfectly safe.
“By the end of June all islands will be vaccinated. The islands are mainly for British tourists. We want a wall of immunity and a wall of trust between tourists and citizens.”
The Government has said they will be publishing a green watchlist in the future, to provide an indication when a country is identified as a candidate for a changing country.
The next review is set to take place in three weeks after travel starts again on May 17 – so June 7.
Spain, Greece, Italy and France are all on the amber list which requires a 10-day home quarantine when returning to the UK and yesterday, Sun Online Travel reported that they were at risk of remaining amber in June.
It’s possible they could miss the green list until July or even August due to their own Covid and vaccine situation.
EasyJet boss Lohan Lundgren has urged ministers to put tourist hotspots Greece and Spain on the green list from May 17.
Mr Lundgren said the decision to leave holiday favourites off the green list was “overly cautious” and “not justified by the evidence”.
He urged ministers to move Greece and Spain onto the list in three weeks as the risk of contracting Covid was “very low”.
Another senior Tory branded the traffic-light system a “disaster”, adding: “The vaccine programme will have covered everybody, but instead the decisions have been handed over to the scientists.”
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